Step Three: Figure Out An Anthony Rendon Extension
Anthony Rendon is the lifeblood of the Washington Nationals’ offense. Without him, Washington may have 13-15 wins instead of 19. Rendon has clearly been the best, most consistent Nationals hitter in 2019 hitting for a line of .325/.423/.675 with nine home runs, 27 runs batted in, and a National League-leading 17 doubles.
A report came out earlier this week that Scott Boras is telling people that the Nationals “missed the boat” in regards to getting an extension done with Rendon, but Washington general manager Mike Rizzo came out Wednesday and said the team is “aggressively” attempting to get a deal done with the third basemen.
No matter which report is true and which isn’t, one thing is for sure. The Nationals cannot afford to lose Anthony Rendon. If Washington was to let Rendon walk, they would lose their best player to free agency for the second straight season.
This is something almost no franchise could recover from, and Washington needs to do everything possible to make sure this does not happen. The Nationals have around $50 million dollars in club options on Ryan Zimmerman, Trevor Rosenthal, Yan Gomes and Adam Eaton for the 2020 season.
Washington could decline all of these, still be okay as a team, and use this money to help sign Rendon. Besides Rendon, Washington’s only other big name free agents after this season are Sean Doolittle, who the team has a club option on, and Howie Kendrick, who will likely be traded if the team continues to plummet.
Once the Nationals organization and more importantly the Lerners made the decision to move on from Bryce Harper, they had to see it was imperative to lock up Rendon next year. Without him in their lineup, Washington would have one of the worst offenses in the National League.
With salaries across baseball being inflated, Rendon likely will get more money than he deserves, but who hasn’t in recent baseball history. Washington needs to do everything they can to settle this extension with Rendon before he hits the free agent market in November. If they can agree to a long-term deal with Rendon during the season, Washington enters the offseason as a team with no pressing need in free agency besides their bullpen.